Tommy Collison

Tommy Collison

I tweet books & ideas. Comms/BD & Fellows @lambdaschool. Amateur classics nerd. "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist”

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80+ Book Recommendations by Tommy Collison

  • This #1 bestselling legal thriller from Michael Connelly is a stunning display of novelistic mastery - as human, as gripping, and as whiplash-surprising as any novel yet from the writer Publishers Weekly has called "today's Dostoevsky of crime literature." Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers - they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it's about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it's even about justice. A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defense attorney's dream, what they call a franchise case. And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career. Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal - this time to save his own life.

    Recent book notes: - I’d forgotten how excellent Frankenstein is. - Devoured the six Lincoln Lawyer detective series in four days last week. - God Spare the Girls, by @mckinneykelsey, is fantastic

  • God Spare the Girls

    Kelsey McKinney

    "Luke Nolan has led the Hope congregation for more than a decade, while his wife and daughters have patiently upheld what it means to live righteously. Made famous by a viral sermon on purity co-written with his eldest daughter, Abigail, Luke is the prototype of a modern preacher: tall, handsome, a spellbinding speaker. But his younger daughter Caroline has begun to notice the cracks in their comfortable life. She is certain that her perfect, pristine sister is about to marry the wrong man-and Caroline has slid into sin with a boy she's known her entire life, wondering why God would care so much about her virginity anyway. When it comes to light, five weeks before Abigail's wedding, that Luke has been lying to his family, the entire Nolan clan falls into a tailspin. Caroline seizes the opportunity to be alone with her sister. The two girls flee to the ranch they inherited from their maternal grandmother, far removed from the embarrassing drama of their parents and the prying eyes of the community. But with the date of Abigail's wedding fast approaching, the sisters will have to make a hard decision about which familial bonds are worth protecting."--Publisher's description.

    Recent book notes: - I’d forgotten how excellent Frankenstein is. - Devoured the six Lincoln Lawyer detective series in four days last week. - God Spare the Girls, by @mckinneykelsey, is fantastic

  • Pure Grit

    Lily Collison

    "A must-read" --Julie Dussliere, Chief of Paralympic Sport, U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee Nineteen people from across the globe, ranging in age from twenty to seventy-plus, tell their stories of living and thriving in diverse fields -- in sport, the arts, medicine, business and more. With refreshing frankness, they share their successes along with their struggles -- grit is the one characteristic they all have in common. These are not stories of people overcoming disability -- they're stories of people accommodating disability while pursuing their dreams. Pure Grit shines a light on boundless possibility whatever the individual challenge. "Pure Grit highlights the lived experience of remarkable individuals, who collectively demonstrate that growing up with a disability brings strength, perspective, and resilience." --Dr. Cheri Blauwet, Assistant Professor of PM&R, Harvard Medical School "An insightful collection of stories." --Dr. Christine Imms, Apex Australia Chair of Neurodevelopment and Disability, University of Melbourne "The stories in Pure Grit are a testament to human achievement no matter your ability. An extraordinary read." --Casey Wasserman, Chairperson, Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games

    Happy pub day, Mum! "These are not stories of people overcoming disability — they’re stories of people accommodating disability while pursuing their dreams." https://t.co/TucRVzHt1o https://t.co/Fq3IZC5zgw

  • Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France" is considered by many to be a masterpiece of political analysis and a compelling rationale against the French Revolution. Originally written as a letter in response to a young Parisian and later expanded upon and published in book format in January 1790, the work has greatly influenced conservative and classic liberal intellectuals and stands as a powerful argument against violent revolutions, lawlessness, and unrest. Prior to 1790, Burke was a well-known member of the British House of Commons and a vocal supporter of the American Revolution. His condemnation of the French Revolution shocked many of his peers and supporters. Burke viewed the French Revolution as a violent and chaotic war without any guiding ideology or respect for the rule of law and feared it would lead to a situation that was both dangerous and corrupt. Many of Burke's predictions came true as the Revolution devolved into bloodshed and anarchy with the Reign of Terror beginning in 1793 and then leading to the eventual military dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte. Burke's work stands as an enduring statement in support of tradition, hereditary power, property rights, duty, and the monarchy. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper.

    First #GreatBook by an Irish author! 🇮🇪 https://t.co/mmmToa8KPc

  • A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a Greenwich Village jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults witty Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well and a single-minded widow. A first novel. Reprint.

    In a break from reading books over 500 years old, I spent most of today reading @amortowles’ Rules of Civility, which is excellent! Released in 2011; basically yesterday.

  • The Well-Trained Mind

    Susan Wise Bauer

    Two veteran home educators outline the classical pattern of education--the trivium--which organizes learning around the maturing capacity of the child's mind: the elementary school "grammar stage," the middle school "logic stage," and the high school "rhetoric stage."

    @ben_m_somers @chrismanfrank There’s actually a book on this! “The Well-Trained Mind: a Classical Education at Home.”

  • Star of the Sea

    Joseph O'Connor

    In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean during the summer of 1847, a boatload of Irish refugees heading for the promise of America is stalked by a killer in their ranks who seems bent on some kind of revenge, in a historical thriller by the author of Cowboys & Indians and The Salesman. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.

    What’s a book that captures the spirit of a country? No one book can capture the essence of an entire country, obviously, but Star of the Sea, for example, feels pleasantly Irish.

  • Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

    After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, seventeen-year-old Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.

    @Ryan_Holdaway @nickmacco @legacybox @ramit If just one: @paulg's Hackers and Painters. Others: The "His Dark Materials" trilogy. "Little Brother" by @doctorow, the Sherlock Holmes books, Oliver Sacks' "On the Move."

  • On the Move

    Oliver Sacks

    @Ryan_Holdaway @nickmacco @legacybox @ramit If just one: @paulg's Hackers and Painters. Others: The "His Dark Materials" trilogy. "Little Brother" by @doctorow, the Sherlock Holmes books, Oliver Sacks' "On the Move."

  • Everything around us is turning into computers. Typewriters, phones, cars, letters, encyclopedias, newspapers, and even your local store are being replaced by the Internet. Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham, explains this world and the motivations of the people who occupy it. In clear, thoughtful prose that draws on illuminating historical examples, Graham takes readers on an unflinching exploration into what he calls "an intellectual Wild West."

    @Ryan_Holdaway @nickmacco @legacybox @ramit If just one: @paulg's Hackers and Painters. Others: The "His Dark Materials" trilogy. "Little Brother" by @doctorow, the Sherlock Holmes books, Oliver Sacks' "On the Move."

  • Lyra Belacqua tries to prevent kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments, helps Will Parry search for his father, and finds that she and Will are caught in a battle between the forces of the Authority and those gathered by her uncle, Lord Asriel.

    @Ryan_Holdaway @nickmacco @legacybox @ramit If just one: @paulg's Hackers and Painters. Others: The "His Dark Materials" trilogy. "Little Brother" by @doctorow, the Sherlock Holmes books, Oliver Sacks' "On the Move."

  • The Righteous Mind

    Jonathan Haidt

    Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

    I read the first hundred pages of @JonHaidt’s Righteous Mind (“why good people are divided by politics and religion”) tonight. It’s both excellent and the most conversationally-written book I’ve read in recent memory.

  • Antigone

    Sophocles

    To make this quintessential Greek drama more accessible to the modern reader, this Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition? includes a glossary of difficult terms, a list of vocabulary words, and convenient sidebar notes. By providing these, it is our intention that readers will more fully enjoy the beauty, wisdom, and intent of the play.The curse placed on Oedipus lingers and haunts a younger generation in this new and brilliant translation of Sophocles? classic drama. The daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Antigone is an unconventional heroine who pits her beliefs against the King of Thebes in a bloody test of wills that leaves few unharmed. Emotions fly as she challenges the king for the right to bury her own brother. Determined but doomed, Antigone shows her inner strength throughout the play. Antigone raises issues of law and morality that are just as relevant today as they were more than two thousand years ago. Whether this is your first reading or your twentieth, Antigone will move you as few pieces of literature can.

    “Good lives are made so by discipline.” So says Creon in Antigone — fun to see the shortcomings of that worldview. Antigone is an enjoyable (and surprisingly short) read on man’s laws versus god’s laws, and what we owe the dead. #2 of #125 classic reads! https://t.co/yQHYcLhMNu

  • "A must-read for professionals, parents, and the individual with CP."-Deborah Gaebler-Spira, MDAn empowering and evidence-based guide for living a full life with spastic diplegia-bilateral cerebral palsy."This detailed and practical book on spastic diplegia, written by a parent in conjunction with medical practitioners at Gillette, is simply brilliant and fills a huge gap."-Lori Poliski, parentCerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of childhood-onset lifelong physical disability. Approximately one-third of those with CP have the subtype spastic diplegia-also known as bilateral spastic CP, or simply bilateral CP. An estimated 6 million worldwide have spastic diplegia. Until now, there has been no book focused on this condition to help this large group of people. This book focuses on the motor problems-problems with bones, muscles, and joints, and their impact on walking. The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) is a five-level system that indicates the severity of the condition. This book is relevant to those at GMFCS levels I to III: those who are capable of walking independently or with a handheld mobility device. These three levels account for the majority of people with spastic diplegia.The book addresses how spastic diplegia develops over the lifespan and explains the evidence-based, best-practice treatments. It empowers parents of young children, and adolescents and adults with the condition, to become better advocates and co-decision makers in the medical process. The focus of this optimistic, yet practical book is on maximizing activity and participation-living life to its fullest. Health care professionals, educators, students, and extended family members will also benefit from reading this book. Indeed, while this book focuses on spastic diplegia, much of what is addressed also applies to other forms of spastic CP at GMFCS levels I to III, namely hemiplegia and quadriplegia.Written by Lily Collison, a parent of a son with spastic diplegia and a medical sciences graduate, in close collaboration with senior medical experts from Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare-a world-renowned center of excellence for CP treatment-this is an excellent, long-needed resource for spastic diplegia.

    Proud of what Mum's achieved! An eminently-readable, evidence-based book on disability and how to make sure it doesn't impact you any more than it has to. https://t.co/9JqRBDlr7t https://t.co/c74lXSq07A

  • Strange Rites

    Tara Isabella Burton

    A sparklingly strange odyssey through the kaleidoscope of America's new spirituality: the cults, practices, high priests and prophets of our supposedly post-religion age. In Strange Rites, Tara Isabella Burton takes a tour through contemporary American religiosity. As the once dominant totems of civic connection and civil discourse--traditional churches--continue to sink into obsolescence, people are looking elsewhere for the intensity and unity that religion once provided. We're making our own personal faiths - theistic or not - mixing and matching our spiritual, ritualistic, personal, and political practices in order to create our own bespoke religious selves. We're not just building new religions in 2019, we're buying them, from Gwyneth Paltrow's gospel of Goop, to the brilliantly cultish SoulCycle, to those who believe in their special destiny on Mars. In so doing, we're carrying on a longstanding American tradition of religious eclecticism, DIY-innovation and "unchurched" piety (and highly effective capitalism). Our era is not the dawn of American secularism, but rather a brand-bolstered resurgence of American pluralism, revved into overdrive by commerce and personalized algorithms, all to the tune of "Hallellujah"--America's most popular and spectacularly misunderstood wedding song.

    1/ For the last year or so, I've been wondering about religions: are the positive attributes of religion unique? Why be (or become) religious? @NotoriousTIB has written a book on this: "Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World." Thread: the Great Unbundling of Religion

  • The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions 'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics 'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. This book reveals how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking. It will enable to you make better decisions at work, at home, and in everything you do.

    Put another way, it’s not that reading Thinking Fast and Slow or Zero to One have no value (both great books!) — rather, I think happiness and competence derive from originality and heterogeneity, and that takes exploring.

  • Put another way, it’s not that reading Thinking Fast and Slow or Zero to One have no value (both great books!) — rather, I think happiness and competence derive from originality and heterogeneity, and that takes exploring.

  • Zero to One

    Peter Thiel

    The billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur behind such companies as PayPal and Facebook outlines an innovative theory and formula for building the companies of the future by creating and monopolizing new markets instead of competing in old ones. 200,000 first printing.

    Put another way, it’s not that reading Thinking Fast and Slow or Zero to One have no value (both great books!) — rather, I think happiness and competence derive from originality and heterogeneity, and that takes exploring.

  • A new history of Israel presents the Holocaust as the defining event of modern Jewish history and the most important impetus for the formation of the State of Israel. Reprint.

    Reading Tom Segev’s “The Seventh Million,” about the Holocaust survivors who came to Israel and who sometimes struggled to acclimatize. “Excuse me, gentlemen, but in my bus, I deliver the babies myself.” https://t.co/7mNEhLHpVo

  • Weekend reading rec: Timothy Egan’s “The Immortal Irishman.” A bit like Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Meagher lived about six lives in one, and experienced Dickensian bad luck — survived the Irish famine, escaped the penal colony in Australia, went onto become a Civil War hero. https://t.co/idGCIiao91

  • God in Search of Man

    Abraham Joshua Heschel

    Abraham Joshua Heschel was one of the most revered religious leaders of the 20th century, and God in Search of Man and its companion volume, Man Is Not Alone, two of his most important books, are classics of modern Jewish theology. God in Search of Man combines scholarship with lucidity, reverence, and compassion as Dr. Heschel discusses not man's search for God but God's for man--the notion of a Chosen People, an idea which, he writes, "signifies not a quality inherent in the people but a relationship between the people and God." It is an extraordinary description of the nature of Biblical thought, and how that thought becomes faith.

    Weekend book recs: - “River Town,” Peter Hessler. - “God in Search of Man,” Abraham Joshua Heschel. - “Six Easy Pieces,” Richard Feynman.

  • Six Easy Pieces

    Richard P. Feynman

    Richard P. Feynman (1918–1988) was widely recognized as the most creative physicist of the post–World War II period. His career was extraordinarily expansive. From his contributions to the development of the atomic bomb a Los Alamos during World War II to his work in quantum electrodynamics, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1965, Feynman was celebrated for his brilliant and irreverent approach to physics.It was Feynman's outrageous and scintillating method of teaching that earned him legendary status among students and professors of physics. From 1961–1963, Feynman, at the California Institute of Technology, delivered a series of lectures that revolutionized the teaching of physics around the world. Six Easy Pieces, taken from the famous Lectures on Physics, represents the most accessible material from this series. In these six chapters, Feynman introduces the general reader to the following topics: atoms, basic physics, the relationship of physics to other topics, energy, gravitation, and quantum force. With his dazzling and inimitable wit, Feynman presents each discussion without equations or technical jargon.Readers will remember how—using ice water and rubber—Feynman demonstrated with stunning simplicity to a nationally televised audience the physics of the 1986 Challenger disaster. It is precisely this ability—the clear and direct illustration of complex theories—that made Richard Feynman one of the most distinguished educators in the world. Filled with wonderful examples and clever illustrations, Six Easy Pieces is the ideal introduction to the fundamentals of physics by one of the most admired and accessible scientists of our time.

    Weekend book recs: - “River Town,” Peter Hessler. - “God in Search of Man,” Abraham Joshua Heschel. - “Six Easy Pieces,” Richard Feynman.

  • River Town

    Peter Hessler

    In the heart of Chia's Sichuan province lies the small city of Fuling. Surrounded by the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, Fuling has long been a place of continuity, far from the bustling political centers of Beijing and Shanghai. But now Fuling is heading down a new path, and gradually, along with scores of other towns in this vast and ever-evolving country, it is becoming a place of change and vitality, tension and reform, disruption and growth. As the people of Fuling hold on to the China they know, they are also opening up and struggling to adapt to a world in which their fate is uncertain. Fuling's position at the crossroads came into remarkably sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1996, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. He found himself teaching English and American literature at the local college, discovering how Shakespeare and other classics look when seen through the eyes of students who have been raised in the Sichuan countryside and educated in Communist Party doctrine. His students, though, are the ones who taught him about the ways of Fuling -- and about the complex process of understanding that takes place when one is immersed in a radically different society. As he learns the language and comes to know the people, Hessler begins to see that it is indeed a unique moment for Fuling. In its past is Communist China's troubled history -- the struggles of land reform, the decades of misguided economic policies, and the unthinkable damage of the Cultural Revolution -- and in the future is the Three Gorges Dam, which upon completion will partly flood the city and force the resettlement of more than a million people. Making his way in the city and traveling by boat and train throughout Sichuan province and beyond, Hessler offers vivid descriptions of the people he meets, from priests to prostitutes and peasants to professors, and gives voice to their views. This is both an intimate personal story of his life in Fuling and a colorful, beautifully written account of the surrounding landscape and its history. Imaginative, poignant, funny, and utterly compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a city that, much like China itself, is seeking to understand both what it was and what it someday will be.

    Weekend book recs: - “River Town,” Peter Hessler. - “God in Search of Man,” Abraham Joshua Heschel. - “Six Easy Pieces,” Richard Feynman.

  • Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it? The bestselling author of The Road to Character explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world. Every so often, you meet people who radiate joy--who seem to know why they were put on this earth, who glow with a kind of inner light. Life, for these people, has often followed what we might think of as a two-mountain shape. They get out of school, they start a career, and they begin climbing the mountain they thought they were meant to climb. Their goals on this first mountain are the ones our culture endorses: to be a success, to make your mark, to experience personal happiness. But when they get to the top of that mountain, something happens. They look around and find the view . . . unsatisfying. They realize: This wasn't my mountain after all. There's another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain. And so they embark on a new journey. On the second mountain, life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment. In The Second Mountain, David Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity and beauty of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose. In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it's also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, Brooks argues, that celebrates freedom, that tells us to be true to ourselves, at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love. We have taken individualism to the extreme--and in the process we have torn the social fabric in a thousand different ways. The path to repair is through making deeper commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks shows what can happen when we put commitment-making at the center of our lives.

    TIL about Anthony Trollope’s prodigious output. “If he finished a novel without writing that allotment, he would immediately start a new novel to hit the mark.” https://t.co/vYpzy3Fpbe

  • A Book of Life

    Rabbi Michael Strassfeld

    Charts a path to a spiritually rich Judaism, explaining traditional rituals and offering new ones for modern life. Encourages daily spiritual awareness as we seek the two fundamental goals of Judaism: to become better humans and to be in God's presence.

    @lacker Wanted to learn more about the Jewish Sabbath -- the best book is a chapter in A Book of Life, by Strassfeld, which isn't on Kindle. Best book on the Sabbath isn't Settings of Silver, Essential Judaism, or other books I checked out.

  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    Alexandre Dumas pere

    Translated with an Introduction by Robin Buss

    “I found out that with 150 well-chosen books a man possesses a complete analysis of all human knowledge, or at least all that is either useful or desirable to be acquainted with.” —Abbé Faria, “The Count of Monte Cristo.” What books should make that shortlist?

  • The Undoing Project

    Michael Lewis

    Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis's own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms. The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield--both had important careers in the Israeli military--and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn't remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter. This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind's view of its own mind.

    Saturday morning book rec: The Undoing Project is as good as everyone says. The New York Times charmingly (and truthfully) calls it “one hell of a love story.” More books on high output performers’ habits, please!

  • Working

    Robert A. Caro

    "Short autobiography about author's processes of researching, interviewing, and writing his books"--

    Book recommendation: Caro is one of the greatest biographers alive, and “Working” is a look inside the method. https://t.co/49eULc9xDG

  • Atomic Habits

    James Clear

    James Clear presents strategies to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that help lead to an improved life.

    I only read Atomic Habits recently, but @JamesClear’s point about the smoker resonated. I wanted to be someone who only drank on special occasions, and my habits followed. https://t.co/Gc5P2Pklsj

  • Dark Money

    Jane Mayer

    Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? --Publisher.

    @TrevMcKendrick Dark Money and Sons of Wichita. There's a new book about Koch Industries just out (Kochland) that's on my weekend to-read.

  • @TrevMcKendrick Dark Money and Sons of Wichita. There's a new book about Koch Industries just out (Kochland) that's on my weekend to-read.

  • Kochland

    Christopher Leonard

    Shortlisted for the 2019 Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award “Superb…Among the best books ever written about an American corporation.” —Bryan Burrough, The New York Times Book Review Just as Steve Coll told the story of globalization through ExxonMobil and Andrew Ross Sorkin told the story of Wall Street excess through Too Big to Fail, Christopher Leonard’s Kochland uses the extraordinary account of how one of the biggest private companies in the world grew to be that big to tell the story of modern corporate America. The annual revenue of Koch Industries is bigger than that of Goldman Sachs, Facebook, and US Steel combined. Koch is everywhere: from the fertilizers that make our food to the chemicals that make our pipes to the synthetics that make our carpets and diapers to the Wall Street trading in all these commodities. But few people know much about Koch Industries and that’s because the billionaire Koch brothers have wanted it that way. For five decades, CEO Charles Koch has kept Koch Industries quietly operating in deepest secrecy, with a view toward very, very long-term profits. He’s a genius businessman: patient with earnings, able to learn from his mistakes, determined that his employees develop a reverence for free-market ruthlessness, and a master disrupter. These strategies made him and his brother David together richer than Bill Gates. But there’s another side to this story. If you want to understand how we killed the unions in this country, how we widened the income divide, stalled progress on climate change, and how our corporations bought the influence industry, all you have to do is read this book. Seven years in the making, Kochland “is a dazzling feat of investigative reporting and epic narrative writing, a tour de force that takes the reader deep inside the rise of a vastly powerful family corporation that has come to influence American workers, markets, elections, and the very ideas debated in our public square. Leonard’s work is fair and meticulous, even as it reveals the Kochs as industrial Citizens Kane of our time” (Steve Coll, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Private Empire).

    @TrevMcKendrick Dark Money and Sons of Wichita. There's a new book about Koch Industries just out (Kochland) that's on my weekend to-read.

  • The mega-bestseller with more than 1.5 million readers that is soon to be a major television series "The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, [and] twists of fate." --The Wall Street Journal He can't leave his hotel. You won't want to. From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility--a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel. In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

    @Austen - A Gentleman in Moscow Runners-up: - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - My Name Is Asher Lev - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Enlightenment Now - A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - To Kill a Mockingbird - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  • Living with an old-world mother and rebellious sister, an urban New Jersey misfit dreams of becoming the next J. R. R. Tolkien and believes that a long-standing family curse is thwarting his efforts to find love and happiness. A first novel by the author of the collection, Drown. Reprint.

    @Austen - A Gentleman in Moscow Runners-up: - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - My Name Is Asher Lev - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Enlightenment Now - A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - To Kill a Mockingbird - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  • The novelist records the anguish and triumphs of a young painter as he emerges into the great world of art and rejects all else.

    @Austen - A Gentleman in Moscow Runners-up: - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - My Name Is Asher Lev - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Enlightenment Now - A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - To Kill a Mockingbird - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  • In 1939 New York City, Joe Kavalier, a refugee from Hitler's Prague, joins forces with his Brooklyn-born cousin, Sammy Clay, to create comic-book superheroes inspired by their own fantasies, fears, and dreams.

    @Austen - A Gentleman in Moscow Runners-up: - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - My Name Is Asher Lev - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Enlightenment Now - A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - To Kill a Mockingbird - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  • Enlightenment Now

    Steven Pinker

    INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018 ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR AND A PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT "My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

    @Austen - A Gentleman in Moscow Runners-up: - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - My Name Is Asher Lev - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Enlightenment Now - A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - To Kill a Mockingbird - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  • A Guide to the Good Life

    William B Irvine

    One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives. In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have. Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows readers how to become thoughtful observers of their own life. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.

    @Austen - A Gentleman in Moscow Runners-up: - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - My Name Is Asher Lev - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Enlightenment Now - A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - To Kill a Mockingbird - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  • "Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much. One of the best-loved classics of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many dis-tinctions since its original publication in 1960. It has won the Pulitzer Prize, been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. It was also named the best novel of the twentieth century by librarians across the country (Library Journal).

    @Austen - A Gentleman in Moscow Runners-up: - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - My Name Is Asher Lev - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Enlightenment Now - A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - To Kill a Mockingbird - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  • @Austen - A Gentleman in Moscow Runners-up: - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - My Name Is Asher Lev - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Enlightenment Now - A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - To Kill a Mockingbird - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  • A Confederacy of Dunces

    John Kennedy Toole

    An obese New Orleans misanthrope who constantly rebukes society, Ignatius Reilly gets a job at his mother's urging but ends up leading a workers' revolt, in a twentieth anniversary edition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Reprint.

    Your Saturday book rec: A Confederacy of Dunces. (I’m so late to this party. cc @dervalah.)

  • A lot of people talk about how great it is to start a business, but only Ben Horowitz is brutally honest about how hard it is to run one. In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, draws on his own story of founding, running, selling, buying, managing, and investing in technology companies to offer essential advice and practical wisdom for navigating the toughest problems business schools don't cover. His blog has garnered a devoted following of millions of readers who have come to rely on him to help them run their businesses. A lifelong rap fan, Horowitz amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs and tells it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, from cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in. His advice is grounded in anecdotes from his own hard-earned rise—from cofounding the early cloud service provider Loudcloud to building the phenomenally successful Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm, both with fellow tech superstar Marc Andreessen (inventor of Mosaic, the Internet's first popular Web browser). This is no polished victory lap; he analyzes issues with no easy answers through his trials, including demoting (or firing) a loyal friend; whether you should incorporate titles and promotions, and how to handle them; if it's OK to hire people from your friend's company; how to manage your own psychology, while the whole company is relying on you; what to do when smart people are bad employees; why Andreessen Horowitz prefers founder CEOs, and how to become one; whether you should sell your company, and how to do it. Filled with Horowitz's trademark humor and straight talk, and drawing from his personal and often humbling experiences, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures.

    Your Saturday morning book recommendation: “The Hard Thing About Hard Things.”

  • The Obesity Code

    Dr. Jason Fung

    In this highly readable and provocative book, Dr. Jason Fung sets out an original, robust theory of obesity that provides startling insights into proper nutrition. Flying in the face of the weight-loss recommendations that have failed in the past, this book reveals that obesity is a hormonal, not a caloric imbalance. As he explores the latest in nutritional science, Dr. Fung provides practical, effective advice on weight loss and the treatment of Type 2 diabetes based on sound scientific principles.

    Saturday morning book recommendation: The Obesity Code.

  • "Mark Sisson unveils his groundbreaking ketogenic diet plan that resets your metabolism in 21 days so you can burn fat forever"--

    @ChanceHalo I read the introduction to "The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever" and enjoyed it, but the hardest part is generally not eating the foods you're trying to avoid.

  • The Dream Machine

    M. Mitchell Waldrop

    At a time when computers were a short step removed from mechanical data processors, Licklider was writing treatises on "human-computer symbiosis," "computers as communication devices," and a now not-so-unfamiliar "Intergalactic Network." His ideas became so influential, his passion so contagious, that Waldrop coined him "computing's Johnny Appleseed." In a simultaneously compelling personal narrative and comprehensive historical exposition, Waldrop tells the story of the man who not only instigated the work that led to the internet, but also shifted our understanding of what computers were and could be.

    Finally reading The Dream Machine (don’t tell Patrick it took me so long). Spectacular book, reminding us that a supposedly staid, stuffy time was, in fact, inhabited by people who were funny, flawed, and ultimately human (This is something I love about @HamiltonMusical, too)

  • Why We Sleep

    Matthew Walker

    "Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity ... An explosion of scientific discoveries in the last twenty years has shed new light on this fundamental aspect of our lives. Now ... neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker gives us a new understanding of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming"--Amazon.com.

    I read "Why We Sleep" in February, and I don't think I've ever read something that made me so drastically change some aspect of my lifestyle. Picked up an @ouraring for more sleep tracking goodness. https://t.co/WclZiRTGCS

  • The Road to Reality

    Roger Penrose

    Presents an overview of the physical laws of the universe, with an explanation of the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, cosmology, the Big Bang, black holes, and string and M theory.

    Bedtime stories. https://t.co/xMSTB1DRNM

  • The Vanishing Stair

    Maureen Johnson

    @maureenjohnson Vanishing Stair is 💯, 🔥, and all good things a good book should be.

  • Poker champion turned business consultant Annie Duke teaches you how to get comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions as a result. In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a pass instead of a hand off to his star running back. The pass was intercepted and the Seahawks lost. Critics called it the dumbest play in history. But was the call really that bad? Or did Carroll actually make a great move that was ruined by bad luck? Even the best decision doesn't yield the best outcome every time. There's always an element of luck that you can't control, and there is always information that is hidden from view. So the key to long-term success (and avoiding worrying yourself to death) is to think in bets: How sure am I? What are the possible ways things could turn out? What decision has the highest odds of success? Did I land in the unlucky 10% on the strategy that works 90% of the time? Or is my success attributable to dumb luck rather than great decision making? Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions. For most people, it's difficult to say "I'm not sure" in a world that values and, even, rewards the appearance of certainty. But professional poker players are comfortable with the fact that great decisions don't always lead to great outcomes and bad decisions don't always lead to bad outcomes. By shifting your thinking from a need for certainty to a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don't, you'll be less vulnerable to reactive emotions, knee-jerk biases, and destructive habits in your decision making. You'll become more confident, calm, compassionate and successful in the long run.

    Okay, since @calebhicks asked — the four best books I read in 2018: Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke, The Science of Success, Charles Koch, A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles, Conspiracy: Ryan Holiday, Bonus round: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green.

  • The Science of Success

    Charles G. Koch

    Praise for THE SCIENCE OF SUCCESS "Evaluating the success of an individual or company is a lot like judging a trapper by his pelts. Charles Koch has a lot of pelts. He has built Koch Industries into the world's largest privately held company, and this book is an insider's guide to how he did it. Koch has studied how markets work for decades, and his commitment to pass that knowledge on will inspire entrepreneurs for generations to come." —T. Boone Pickens "A must-read for entrepreneurs and corporate executives that is also applicable to the wider world. MBM is an invaluable tool for engendering excellence for all groups, from families to nonprofit entities. Government leaders could avoid policy failures by heeding the science of human behavior." —Richard L. Sharp, Chairman, CarMax "My father, Sam Walton, stressed the importance of fundamental principles—such as humility, integrity, respect, and creating value—that are the foundation for success. No one makes a better case for these principles than Charles Koch." —Rob Walton, Chairman, Wal-Mart "What accounts for Koch Industries' spectacular success? Charles Koch calls it Market-Based Management: a vision that nurtures personal qualities of humility and integrity that build trust and the confidence to enhance future success through learning from failure, and a culture of thinking in terms of opportunity cost and comparative advantage for all employees." —Vernon Smith, 2002 Nobel laureate in economics "In a very thoughtful, creative, and understandable way, Charles Koch explains how he has used the science of human behavior to create a culture that has produced one of the world's largest and most successful private companies. A must-read for anyone interested in creating value." —William B. Harrison Jr., Former Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co. "The same exacting thought, rooted in the realities of human nature, that the framers of the U.S. Constitution put into building a nation of entrepreneurs, Charles Koch has framed to build an enduring company of entrepreneurs—a company larger than Microsoft, Dell, HP, and other giants. Every entrepreneur should study this book." —Verne Harnish, founder, Young Entrepreneurs' Organization, author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, CEO, Gazelles Inc.

    Okay, since @calebhicks asked — the four best books I read in 2018: Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke, The Science of Success, Charles Koch, A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles, Conspiracy: Ryan Holiday, Bonus round: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green.

  • The mega-bestseller with more than 1.5 million readers that is soon to be a major television series "The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, [and] twists of fate." --The Wall Street Journal He can't leave his hotel. You won't want to. From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility--a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel. In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

    Okay, since @calebhicks asked — the four best books I read in 2018: Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke, The Science of Success, Charles Koch, A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles, Conspiracy: Ryan Holiday, Bonus round: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green.

  • Conspiracy

    Ryan Holiday

    An NPR Book Concierge Best Book of 2018! A Sunday Times of London Pick of the Paperbacks A stunning story about how power works in the modern age--the book the New York Times called "one helluva page-turner" and The Sunday Times of London celebrated as "riveting...an astonishing modern media conspiracy that is a fantastic read." Pick up the book everyone is talking about. In 2007, a short blogpost on Valleywag, the Silicon Valley-vertical of Gawker Media, outed PayPal founder and billionaire investor Peter Thiel as gay. Thiel's sexuality had been known to close friends and family, but he didn't consider himself a public figure, and believed the information was private. This post would be the casus belli for a meticulously plotted conspiracy that would end nearly a decade later with a $140 million dollar judgment against Gawker, its bankruptcy and with Nick Denton, Gawker's CEO and founder, out of a job. Only later would the world learn that Gawker's demise was not incidental--it had been masterminded by Thiel. For years, Thiel had searched endlessly for a solution to what he'd come to call the "Gawker Problem." When an unmarked envelope delivered an illegally recorded sex tape of Hogan with his best friend's wife, Gawker had seen the chance for millions of pageviews and to say the things that others were afraid to say. Thiel saw their publication of the tape as the opportunity he was looking for. He would come to pit Hogan against Gawker in a multi-year proxy war through the Florida legal system, while Gawker remained confidently convinced they would prevail as they had over so many other lawsuit--until it was too late. The verdict would stun the world and so would Peter's ultimate unmasking as the man who had set it all in motion. Why had he done this? How had no one discovered it? What would this mean--for the First Amendment? For privacy? For culture? In Holiday's masterful telling of this nearly unbelievable conspiracy, informed by interviews with all the key players, this case transcends the narrative of how one billionaire took down a media empire or the current state of the free press. It's a study in power, strategy, and one of the most wildly ambitious--and successful--secret plots in recent memory. Some will cheer Gawker's destruction and others will lament it, but after reading these pages--and seeing the access the author was given--no one will deny that there is something ruthless and brilliant about Peter Thiel's shocking attempt to shake up the world.

    Okay, since @calebhicks asked — the four best books I read in 2018: Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke, The Science of Success, Charles Koch, A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles, Conspiracy: Ryan Holiday, Bonus round: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green.

  • Okay, since @calebhicks asked — the four best books I read in 2018: Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke, The Science of Success, Charles Koch, A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles, Conspiracy: Ryan Holiday, Bonus round: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green.

  • "From the author of The Psychopath Test and Lost at Sea, an exploration of shame, one of our world's most overlooked forces. Public shaming as a form of social control, such a big part of our lives it feels weird when there isn't anyone to be furious about. Whole careers are being ruined by one mistake. Our collective outrage at it has the force of a hurricane. Then we all quickly forget about it and move on to the next one, and it doesn't cross our minds to wonder if the shamed person is okay or in ruins. What's it doing to them? An examination of human nature and its flaws"--Publisher's website.

    So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (https://t.co/rpBX7LnFhk) is 💯. https://t.co/90RiAO2ifd

  • Just finished @hankgreen’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. Charming, original, and A Book For Our Times.

  • The Dream Machine

    M. Mitchell Waldrop

    At a time when computers were a short step removed from mechanical data processors, Licklider was writing treatises on "human-computer symbiosis," "computers as communication devices," and a now not-so-unfamiliar "Intergalactic Network." His ideas became so influential, his passion so contagious, that Waldrop coined him "computing's Johnny Appleseed." In a simultaneously compelling personal narrative and comprehensive historical exposition, Waldrop tells the story of the man who not only instigated the work that led to the internet, but also shifted our understanding of what computers were and could be.

    Despite the fact that his eyes, Mona Lisa-style, seem to follow you, this thing is genuinely a thing of beauty. https://t.co/B0TP2pIfXm

  • Valley of Genius

    Adam Fisher

    "This is the most important book on Silicon Valley I've read in two decades. It will take us all back to our roots in the counterculture, and will remind us of the true nature of the innovation process, before we tried to tame it with slogans and buzzwords." -- Po Bronson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nudist on the Late Shift and Nurtureshock A candid, colorful, and comprehensive oral history that reveals the secrets of Silicon Valley -- from the origins of Apple and Atari to the present day clashes of Google and Facebook, and all the start-ups and disruptions that happened along the way. Rarely has one economy asserted itself as swiftly--and as aggressively--as the entity we now know as Silicon Valley. Built with a seemingly permanent culture of reinvention, Silicon Valley does not fight change; it embraces it, and now powers the American economy and global innovation. So how did this omnipotent and ever-morphing place come to be? It was not by planning. It was, like many an empire before it, part luck, part timing, and part ambition. And part pure, unbridled genius... Drawing on over two hundred in-depth interviews, VALLEY OF GENIUS takes readers from the dawn of the personal computer and the internet, through the heyday of the web, up to the very moment when our current technological reality was invented. It interweaves accounts of invention and betrayal, overnight success and underground exploits, to tell the story of Silicon Valley like it has never been told before. Read it to discover the stories that Valley insiders tell each other: the tall tales that are all, improbably, true.

    Reading bedtime stories. https://t.co/4J67WMDR8B

  • "Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change have produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs. The problem, according to ... Tyler Cowen, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition--we're working harder than ever to avoid change ... Cowen [believes that] there are significant collateral downsides attending this comfort, among them heightened inequality and segregation and decreased incentives to innovate and create"--Amazon.com.

    3/ This is the part where I recommend @tylercowen’s excellent “The Complacent Class.” https://t.co/FhIyHnxcev

  • A History of Modern Iran

    Ervand Abrahamian

    In a radical reappraisal of Iran's modern history, Ervand Abrahamian traces the country's traumatic journey from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, through the discovery of oil, imperial interventions, the rule of the Pahlavis, and the birth of the Islamic Republic. The first edition was named the Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2009. This second edition brings the narrative up to date, with the Green uprisings of 2009, the second Ahmadinejad administration, the election of Rouhani, and the Iran nuclear deal. Ervand Abrahamian, who is one of the most distinguished historians writing on Iran today, is a compassionate expositor, and at the heart of the book is the people of Iran, who have endured and survived a century of war and revolution.

    @BenedictEvans A History of Modern Iran, by Ervand Abrahamian, is good at putting it in the wider context.

  • A lively, inviting account of the history of economics, told through events from ancient to modern times and through the ideas of great thinkers in the field

    Picked this up over the weekend and read it in two sittings on a ✈️. Solid overview/refresher of the folks and concepts that make up the dismal science. https://t.co/UkagILhXlr

  • A field-tested guide to surviving a nuclear attack, written by a revered civil defense expert. This edition of Cresson H. Kearny’s iconic Nuclear War Survival Skills (originally published in 1979), updated by Kearny himself in 1987 and again in 2001, offers expert advice for ensuring your family’s safety should the worst come to pass. Chock-full of practical instructions and preventative measures, Nuclear War Survival Skills is based on years of meticulous scientific research conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Featuring a new introduction by ex-Navy SEAL Don Mann, this book also includes: instructions for six different fallout shelters, myths and facts about the dangers of nuclear weapons, tips for maintaining an adequate food and water supply, a foreword by “the father of the hydrogen bomb,” physicist Dr. Edward Teller, and an “About the Author” note by Eugene P. Wigner, physicist and Nobel Laureate. Written at a time when global tensions were at their peak, Nuclear War Survival Skills remains relevant in the dangerous age in which we now live.

    Light Sunday morning reading. https://t.co/f4aNyhHPJv

  • The Undoing Project

    Michael Lewis

    Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis's own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms. The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield--both had important careers in the Israeli military--and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn't remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter. This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind's view of its own mind.

    @sarahmceneaney @pmarca Ha — I think everyone in the family plus me has found the time to read (and love) The Undoing Project. Need to get a move on.

  • A hilarious, quirky, and unflinchingly honest memoir about one young woman's terrible and life-changing decisions while hoping (and sometimes failing) to find herself, in the style of Never Have I Ever and Adulting. Join Dana Schwartz on a journey revisiting all of the terrible decisions she made in her early twenties through the internet's favorite method of self-knowledge: the quiz. Part-memoir, part-VERY long personality test, CHOOSE YOUR OWN DISASTER is a manifesto about the millennial experience and modern feminism and how the easy advice of "you can be anything you want!" is actually pretty fucking difficult when there are so many possible versions of yourself it seems like you could be. Dana has no idea who she is, but at least she knows she's a Carrie, a Ravenclaw, a Raphael, a Belle, a former emo kid, a Twitter addict, and a millennial just trying her best.

    If you follow her, you need to read it. (And if you don’t, you’re missing out!) https://t.co/afkAzj2ad2

  • Tyler Cowen's The Great Stagnation, the eSpecial heard round the world that ignited a firestorm of debate and redefined the nature of our economic malaise, is now-at last-a book. America has been through the biggest financial crisis since the great Depression, unemployment numbers are frightening, media wages have been flat since the 1970s, and it is common to expect that things will get worse before they get better. Certainly, the multidecade stagnation is not yet over. How will we get out of this mess? One political party tries to increase government spending even when we have no good plan for paying for ballooning programs like Medicare and Social Security. The other party seems to think tax cuts will raise revenue and has a record of creating bigger fiscal disasters that the first. Where does this madness come from? As Cowen argues, our economy has enjoyed low-hanging fruit since the seventeenth century: free land, immigrant labor, and powerful new technologies. But during the last forty years, the low-hanging fruit started disappearing, and we started pretending it was still there. We have failed to recognize that we are at a technological plateau. The fruit trees are barer than we want to believe. That's it. That is what has gone wrong and that is why our politics is crazy. Cowen reveals the underlying causes of our past prosperity and how we will generate it again. This is a passionate call for a new respect of scientific innovations that benefit not only the powerful elites, but humanity as a whole.

    @briansugar @acinader @rabois @patrickc @collision @naval Not to jump on this thread, but: +1 to Conspiracy, and add: - The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better by @tylercowen. - Lab Girl by Hope Jahren - Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

  • Lab Girl

    Hope Jahren

    An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime collaboration, in work and in life; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see and think about the natural world Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book might have been a revelatory treatise on plant life. Lab Girl is that, but it is also so much more. Because in it, Jahren also shares with us her inspiring life story, in prose that takes your breath away. Lab Girl is a book about work, about love, and about the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren's remarkable stories: about the things she's discovered in her lab, as well as how she got there; about her childhood--hours of unfettered play in her father's laboratory; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work "with both the heart and the hands"; about a brilliant and wounded man named Bill, who became her loyal colleague and best friend; about their adventurous, sometimes rogue research trips, which take them from the Midwest all across the United States and over the Atlantic, from the ever-light skies of the North Pole to tropical Hawaii; and about her constant striving to do and be the best she could, never allowing personal or professional obstacles to cloud her dedication to her work. Jahren's probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her insights on nature enliven every page of this book. Lab Girl allows us to see with clear eyes the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal, and also the power within ourselves to face--with bravery and conviction--life's ultimate challenge: discovering who you are.

    @briansugar @acinader @rabois @patrickc @collision @naval Not to jump on this thread, but: +1 to Conspiracy, and add: - The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better by @tylercowen. - Lab Girl by Hope Jahren - Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

  • Examines the ways in which television has transformed public discourse--in politics, education, religion, science, and elsewhere--into a form of entertainment that undermines exposition, explanation and knowledge, in a special anniversary edition of the classic critique of the influence of the mass media on a democratic society. Reprint.

    @briansugar @acinader @rabois @patrickc @collision @naval Not to jump on this thread, but: +1 to Conspiracy, and add: - The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better by @tylercowen. - Lab Girl by Hope Jahren - Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

  • A hilarious, quirky, and unflinchingly honest memoir about one young woman's terrible and life-changing decisions while hoping (and sometimes failing) to find herself, in the style of Never Have I Ever and Adulting. Join Dana Schwartz on a journey revisiting all of the terrible decisions she made in her early twenties through the internet's favorite method of self-knowledge: the quiz. Part-memoir, part-VERY long personality test, CHOOSE YOUR OWN DISASTER is a manifesto about the millennial experience and modern feminism and how the easy advice of "you can be anything you want!" is actually pretty fucking difficult when there are so many possible versions of yourself it seems like you could be. Dana has no idea who she is, but at least she knows she's a Carrie, a Ravenclaw, a Raphael, a Belle, a former emo kid, a Twitter addict, and a millennial just trying her best.

    Have said it before, but I'll say it again -- so excited for @DanaSchwartzzz's book coming out this month! https://t.co/0NwgFyvh0d

  • Economics Rules

    Dani Rodrik

    A leading economist trains a lens on his own discipline to uncover when it fails and when it works.

    Ever start a book and get excited because you know it’s going to be great? That’s me and @rodrikdani’s “Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science.”

  • Chasing Hillary

    Amy Chozick

    New York Times bestseller “The Devil Wears Prada meets The Boys on the Bus”—New York Times The dishy, rollicking, and deeply personal story of what really happened in the 2016 election, as seen through the eyes of the New York Times reporter who gave eight years of her life to covering the First Woman President who wasn't. For a decade, award-winning New York Times journalist Amy Chozick chronicled Hillary Clinton’s pursuit of the presidency. Chozick’s front-row seat, initially covering Clinton’s imploding 2008 campaign, and then her assignment to “The Hillary Beat” ahead of the 2016 election, took her to 48 states and set off a nearly ten-years-long journey in which the formative years of her twenties and thirties became – both personally and professionally – intrinsically intertwined to Clinton’s presidential ambitions. Chozick’s candor and clear-eyed perspective—from her seat on the Hillary bus and reporting from inside the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters, to her run-ins with Donald J. Trump and her globetrotting with Bill Clinton— provide fresh intrigue and insights into the story we thought we all knew. This is the real story of what happened, with the kind of dishy, inside details that repeatedly surprise and enlighten. But Chasing Hillary is also a rollicking, irreverent, refreshingly honest personal story of how the would-be first woman president looms over Chozick’s life. And, as she gets married, attempts to infiltrate the upper echelons of political journalism and inquires about freezing her eggs so she can have children after the 2016 campaign, Chozick dives deeper into decisions Clinton made at similar points in her life. In the process, Chozick came to see Clinton not as an unknowable enigma and political animal but as a complex person, full of contradictions and forged in the political battles and media storms that had long predated Chozick’s years of coverage. Trailing Clinton through all of the highs and lows of the most noxious and wildly dramatic presidential election in American history, Chozick comes to understand what drove Clinton, how she accomplished what no woman had before, and why she ultimately failed. Poignant, illuminating, laugh-out-loud funny, Chasing Hillary is a campaign book like never before that reads like a fast-moving political novel.

    Halfway through @amychozick’s Chasing Hillary. The best books give you a sense of the author, and Chozick comes across as charming and fair. This & @KatyTurNBC’s may be the best books on the 2016 election. (P.S. the world’s immeasurably worse off for not having David Carr.)

  • "Technology and increasing levels of education expose people to more information than ever before. These gains, however, also fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that derails debates on numerous issues. With only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be as informed as doctors and diplomats. All voices demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as elitism. The Death of Expertise shows how this rejection of experts developed: the openness of the internet, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine. Paradoxically, greater democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed, angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement. Now updated with a new forward that explains how all these related issues came to a head in the wake of Donald Trump's election."--Page 4 of cover.

    Just finished @RadioFreeTom's "The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters," book 21/100 for 2018 (so behind 😱) . Well-reasoned, non-sensationalist, and (at the risk of channeling my inner @patrickc) refreshingly not too long!

  • Enhanced by hundreds of period photographs, presents an illustrated edition of the classic portrait of America's early space program and its first astronauts.

    I’ve been reading (and loving) Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff” recently. My kingdom to have been a postwar test pilot.

  • The Iliad & The Odyssey by Homer Unabridged -800 Original Version

    TL, DR: I think reading is underrated and concentrating on one thing for an extended period is out of vogue. My new 2018 goal: read the freshman portion of the great works. I’ll update you as I go, but for now... https://t.co/qrwsmOB3FO

  • Enlightenment Now

    Steven Pinker

    INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018 ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR AND A PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT "My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

    Calling it early: @sapinker’s “Enlightenment Now” is probably the best book I’ll read in 2018. I’m with Bill Gates — my new favorite book.

  • A hilarious, quirky, and unflinchingly honest memoir about one young woman's terrible and life-changing decisions while hoping (and sometimes failing) to find herself, in the style of Never Have I Ever and Adulting. Join Dana Schwartz on a journey revisiting all of the terrible decisions she made in her early twenties through the internet's favorite method of self-knowledge: the quiz. Part-memoir, part-VERY long personality test, CHOOSE YOUR OWN DISASTER is a manifesto about the millennial experience and modern feminism and how the easy advice of "you can be anything you want!" is actually pretty fucking difficult when there are so many possible versions of yourself it seems like you could be. Dana has no idea who she is, but at least she knows she's a Carrie, a Ravenclaw, a Raphael, a Belle, a former emo kid, a Twitter addict, and a millennial just trying her best.

    Preordered @DanaSchwartzzz's memoir, out in June. This is your scheduled reminder that (a) @DanaSchwartzzz is one the most insightful people on Twitter at a time when nuance is unfashionable and (b) everyone 💙 preorders. Please the publishing gods today: https://t.co/afkAzj2ad2

  • A World Without "Whom"

    Emmy J. Favilla

    Excited for this one. https://t.co/1jyFxQzwi9

  • All Your Worth

    Elizabeth Warren

    A guide to achieving financial stability and prosperity encourages new ways to think about and manage money, discussing such topics as balancing a budget, planning for entertainment, and getting out of debt.

    @sama Two books I found particularly good were: - All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan - Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties

  • From a cutting-edge cultural commentator, a bold and brilliant challenge to cherished notions of the Internet as the great leveler of our age The Internet has been hailed as an unprecedented democratizing force, a place where everyone can be heard and all can participate equally. But how true is this claim? In a seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions, The People's Platform argues that for all that we "tweet" and "like" and "share," the Internet in fact reflects and amplifies real-world inequities at least as much as it ameliorates them. Online, just as off-line, attention and influence largely accrue to those who already have plenty of both. What we have seen so far, Astra Taylor says, has been not a revolution but a rearrangement. Although Silicon Valley tycoons have eclipsed Hollywood moguls, a handful of giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook remain the gatekeepers. And the worst habits of the old media model—the pressure to seek easy celebrity, to be quick and sensational above all—have proliferated on the web, where "aggregating" the work of others is the surest way to attract eyeballs and ad revenue. When culture is "free," creative work has diminishing value and advertising fuels the system. The new order looks suspiciously like the old one. We can do better, Taylor insists. The online world does offer a unique opportunity, but a democratic culture that supports diverse voices and work of lasting value will not spring up from technology alone. If we want the Internet to truly be a people's platform, we will have to make it so.

    @patrickc In no particular order: The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, The View from the Cheap Seats, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, & The Upside of Stress.

  • An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity. This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title. With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda's "genocidal logic" in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa. Can a country composed largely of perpetrators and victims create a cohesive national society? This moving contribution to the literature of witness tells us much about the struggle everywhere to forge sane, habitable political orders, and about the stubbornness of the human spirit in a world of extremity. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.

    @patrickc In no particular order: The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, The View from the Cheap Seats, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, & The Upside of Stress.

  • An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics—from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories—observed in #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s probing, amusing, and distinctive style. An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood. Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman—offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time.

    @patrickc In no particular order: The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, The View from the Cheap Seats, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, & The Upside of Stress.

  • An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel. Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

    @patrickc In no particular order: The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, The View from the Cheap Seats, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, & The Upside of Stress.

  • The Upside of Stress

    Kelly McGonigal

    This book shows readers how to cultivate a mindset that embraces stress, and activate the brain's ability to learn from challenging experiences.

    @patrickc In no particular order: The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, The View from the Cheap Seats, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, & The Upside of Stress.